Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If Only.

If only you could step outside of your own self for just a moment and see you.

The way I see you. The way God sees you.

It would bring a tear to your eye no doubt, to see you for who you really are, and not just the angles you see in the mirror, or while you are upset, or realize that even when you're laughing you have flaws: could your smile be any bigger?

It would be a relief: like when you have just cleaned the whole house and you finally get to sit down to see what you have done. Or like turning off the last light in the house before you can jump into bed. It would be like realizing that your sweet, screaming child has finally fallen asleep. Or like getting off of work and clicking your heels together as you run to your car to finally head home to see someone you love. Only better, because it's you! And I dunno about you, but sometimes being "me" is pretty tough in general.

There are several people that I have always particularly admired for being comfortable in their own skin. The people who laugh even if they have a big smile, who make jokes and enjoy their own toes, even though they are strange. Those people who accept your compliment with a genuine thank you. The ones you don't have to pin down, look in the eye and say, "Yes you are! You ARE beautiful! Believe it, or I'll punch you!"   :) And I mean the ones who accept it regardless of whether they are wearing a rag or JCrew. The ones who have an iPhone or a phone that, you know, just makes calls and stuff. The one who has thick flowing hair or just an okay amount. The one who has blemishes on their skin, or the one whose skin is glowing, or is so physically fit. (Because I can guarantee, they can tell you why their skin is glowing or just how they got their hair that thick, or their guaranteed workout secrets, but you are you, and for the most part, you are gonna stay that way and have to start loving you for every single thing you see as a flaw in yourself.)

I was one of many Mary Kate and Ashley fans growing up, and I watched a YouTube video when they were about 16, maybe a little younger, and Mary Kate was talking about how pretty Ashley is. She was saying she would look in the mirror and feel so ugly, and then see Ashley and how beautiful she is, and was very jealous of her. Granted they are not identical twins, watching the two of them in that interview, they may well have been the same exact person, because they sure looked/acted like it. Their differences are so minute, and Mary Kate was still able to see them. It shows that even if God granted we look almost exactly like that person we envy, it still wouldn't be good enough. So that is where we come in.

You know those people you love? The ones who have flaws, but you don't see as flaws, because in your opinion they just give them character and you couldn't possibly love them as much as you do without them? Oh, that's just me? Well hopefully you get the picture :) ....because it's time to start looking at you that way.

The way I see you.
The way God sees you.

Go ahead and try. Or even... stop trying if you know what I mean.
It might just work.

Friday, July 20, 2012

People Are Good.

It was Anne Frank who said, "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart."

Yesterday evening I was going through an area I had already knocked, making sure to talk to the people that weren't home earlier in the day. As I was passing homes and noting which ones I needed to stop at, I passed one in particular that I made a note that symboled I had already talked to someone there, and that they weren't interested. The old man was sitting outside, and though I didn't remember what he said, I remembered he wasn't very nice, so I tried to shuffle by in hopes that I didn't anger him again.

On my way walking back to the car I was on the phone with Jeff and the same old man was still sitting outside, but got up and flagged me down. I was a little nervous as he approached me, and very seriously asked me if I was the same girl who stopped at his door the other day asking if he was interested in our pest control service.

"Yes, that was me," I replied. Did he wait there for me to come back? I couldn't help but wonder.

"Well I was very hasty when you came to the door the first time, and I wanted to apologize."

"Oh, it's okay! I understand," I tried to say with a nervous smile. My feelings get hurt so easily, I was almost embarrassed that I even remembered him. I was taken by complete surprise, I thought he was going to yell at me for wandering around his neighborhood.

"No, it's not okay," he replied. "You are a lady and I need to act like a gentlemen."

Then he proceeded to ask me how much it cost, and more about our service. After I told him, he pointed to his pockets and told me once he got a few more shekels in his pocket, he would like to give me a call. I also learned he is 91 years old, living on social security from 1984. Nonetheless, it wouldn't be likely that he would have more shekels in his pocket anytime soon, but he genuinely wanted the service, and wanted to keep us in mind.

Whether he does or does not even give me a call back, I appreciate that he went out of his way for an apology, and it sincerely warmed my heart. Sometimes I joke that I have a place for every single person, stranger or not, in my heart. My heart swells in sadness, and happiness for every situation I encounter. While I run into a lot of people who are frustrated that I interrupted their day, (which I really cam't blame them) I also find people that are genuinely so thankful that I stopped by and can help them with their pest problems.

Last night especially, I needed to be reminded that I can't judge someone solely by the way they react when I knock on their door. This dear old man in particular is a good person, and I'm glad I had the chance to change my mind about him.

So that is why we are told not to hold grudges.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Some Summer.

It turns out our summer will be spent sailing selling pest control in Washington. Yes, I am (we are) that annoying person who knocks at your door, asking you questions, and then trying to ask some more before you shut the door.

I wasn't gonna do it, in fact, don't tell me "I could never do that," because that was what I said, too. I kicked back in our twice-as-big, furnished apartment and browsed the internet all day looking for jobs.... for almost two weeks. I wasn't so worried about getting a job right away when we got to La Grande, because I knew there was time and that we still have two more years of school. But here... we have until the end of September and time was ticking. 

I am no salesman. I am the opposite, but there are a few qualities about me that I decided I had it in me. And ever since Madeline came out in motion picture in 1998 my motto has been, "I can do anything." If you whisper it like she did, and once in awhile say it aloud, you really can do anything. I couldn't bare the thought of staying home all day earning nothing while Jeff worked until 9 every night in the 100 degree weather. 

I repaired rock chips one summer at a tent by the mall and while it was technically sales, I feel that it hardly counts. People approached me though, and I didn't have to bother them in the middle of their car repairs, paint project, family time, or the occasional man opening the door in his underwear, yawning. Nonetheless, I did have to be knowledgable about the rock chip repairing process, and why they are important to repair; I did have to work with insurance companies, and I did have to talk people into paying cash when their insurance was only liability.

I am personable and genuinely interested in talking with and learning about people I have just met. I especially learned that about myself working in customer service for so long. I could change a person's demeanor with just the right comment, and they could do the same to me. I lived for what I called those 30-second conversations that started with small talk; or the occasional person that jumped straight into their life story, current problems. I met the quirkiest, rudest, nicest, most interesting people every day and I will forever learn from my experiences in retail. Again... this is different... but it all helps.

We are now referred to by the Pointe Pest Control crew as Team Alexander. I know everyone is annoyed with us, because it looks like we are getting more sales than everyone, but really, there are two of us, and expenses don't cut in half when you're married. Somehow, they double and even triple at times. Needless to say, we are doing all right. We have a few number goals, but really, I just want to do my best every single day and not give up. When all is said and done, I will be happy with that. We are praying to make enough to get us through the school year, so we can continue to work at our campus jobs that we love, and focus on schoolwork: the task at hand.